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Frequently Asked Questions for Home Based Child-Care




What type of individual storage space must I have for school-age children?

§747.4305 requires individual adequate storage space for each child’s personal belongings. This may be separate hooks, shelves, lockers, or cubicles. Other ideas for storage space include laundry baskets, buckets, carpet squares or placemats on a floor or table. Individual storage space encourages children to organize and be responsible for their personal possessions and offers children a sense of belonging when they can recognize the space as their own. Providing separate space for personal belongings also reduces the spread of lice, scabies and ringworm, which are the most common diseases spread in child-care settings.

Will backpacks comply with this requirement for storage space?

Individual backpacks laid out in a way that children can easily identify their own belongings, may comply; however, you should also consider where these children would store a coat, art project, or sports equipment that does not fit into a backpack. Adequate storage would include individual space to accommodate all of a child’s personal belongings.

If I use a baby monitor that allows me to hear the children when I am out of the room, will this comply with the minimum standard for supervision?

Auditory awareness is only one component of the standard §747.1503, requiring supervision at all times. You must consider the ages of the children, their individual differences and abilities, the layout of the home and play area and other hazards or risks. You must also have physical proximity to the children in your care and must intervene when necessary to ensure children’s safety. The use of the baby monitor would depend on each of these variables.

Does a “listed” phone number have to be in the local phone book or only listed in the enrollment agreement I provide to parents?

For purposes of this minimum standard, §747.4307, a listed telephone number is referring to a telephone number that may be obtained from directory assistance by a parent or other person wishing to contact the child-care center.

I want to operate a licensed child-care center in my home. Will this be possible after September 1, 2003?

After September 1, 2003, operations licensed as a child-care center must provide care at a location other than the caregiver’s own home. To be considered as operating in a location other than the caregiver’s own home, the location where care is being provided must be at a different address from the permit holder’s residence. (§746.107)

I purchase a curriculum for use with children in my care that includes activities for each day, a monthly calendar, and tools for teaching basic concepts. The supplier says I can earn annual training hours for using this curriculum; is this acceptable to DFPS?

Using a purchased curriculum designed for use with children would not be acceptable training for caregivers unless the training materials also include self-instructional materials designed for the caregiver.

In order for training to be counted toward annual training requirements, the training must meet criteria specified in §747.1323 including specifically stated learning objectives for the adult, a curriculum designed for adult use which includes experiential or applied activities, an assessment tool, review, test or other activity that is used to determine whether the person has obtained the information necessary to meet the stated objectives and a certificate of successful completion from the training source as specified in §747.1327. If this program meets these criteria, then it may be counted toward annual training requirements up to 16 of the 20 annual hours as specified in §747.1325.

Why are there two different “recipes” for a self-made disinfecting solution?

The disinfection process uses chemicals (or hot water), that are stronger than soap and water, to kill germs and therefore prevent the spread of disease. Disinfection usually requires soaking or drenching the item for several minutes to give the chemical time to kill the remaining germs. §747.3207 (1)(A) lists a weaker self-made disinfecting solution (One tablespoon of regular strength liquid household bleach to each gallon of water) to be used on those items which children routinely place in their mouth. The weaker solution is adequate to kill most infectious germs if the proper steps are followed; however, the residue is nontoxic to children.

Toxic cleaners should not be used on surfaces likely to be mouthed by children. §747.3207(1)(B) lists a stronger self-made disinfecting solution (One quarter cup of bleach to one gallon of water) for disinfecting surfaces, which children do not routinely mouth, but nevertheless carry a significant number of germs such as changing tables, door knobs, floors, bathrooms, low shelving and other surfaces touched by children wearing diapers. After soaking for 10 minutes with this stronger self-made or a commercial disinfecting solution, if the surface is likely to be mouthed by children, it should be thoroughly wiped with a fresh towel moistened with tap water.

Why can’t I obtain credit toward my annual training hours by training others?

§747.1309 states training hours may not be earned for presenting training to others. Training others does not satisfy the purpose of obtaining training annually, which is to learn the newest techniques for dealing with children, learn the latest findings in what children need and how they develop, and to refresh and energize caregiver skills.

Training that you attend to learn new information, which you may share with others at a later date, is acceptable annual training if it complies with §747.1309 and §747.1315.

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